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Akamai, Cisco Integration Focuses On Hybrid Cloud Performance

Joint effort optimizes app delivery over hybrid WANs; Barracuda adds five firewalls; Sepaton launches VirtuoSO; Fusion-io adds serving caching extension.

Akamai Technologies plans to integrate its Unified Performance technology with Cisco’s ISR-AX series of routers as part of the companies’ strategy to co-develop enterprise network products that improve delivery of public and private cloud applications to remote offices.

Akamai’s Unified Performance caches and delivers content within branch offices by connecting to the Akamai Intelligent Platform. It will be combined with Cisco’s Intelligent WAN (IWAN), which includes Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) and Application Visibility and Control (AVC).

The idea is that Akamai's technology will optimize traffic from the Internet, while Cisco's routers will optimize traffic from the Akamai network to the enterprise and across the WAN. Cisco’s ISR-AX would essentially become an Akamai point of presence. Cisco ISR-AX is available on Cisco 4451-X, 3900, 2900 and 1900 Series Integrated Services Routers, which address security with firewall, IP Security and SSL VPN.

Joe Skorupa, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said Akamai has the most to gain from this partnership as it will provide it with a greater footprint in the enterprise space thanks to Cisco’s market share. “Cisco will open doors, reduce friction and make things easier,” he said.

He noted this new partnership does not mean exclusivity; Cisco might look to work with other vendors, noting HP has made inroads at the branch level and there are other options for enterprises to consider. Riverbed’s Steelhead, for example, is another alternative to Cisco WAAS.

WAN optimization has always been important, but the rise of cloud applications has changed the requirements. “There’s an increased importance to get from the branch directly out to an Internet connection and then to Software-as-a-Service applications," Skorupa said.

Barracuda Launches New Firewall Line

Barracuda Networks released five new firewalls designed for midsize to large organizations. Barracuda’s NG Firewall F600 models include configuration options of 1 GbE copper, 1 GbE fiber-optic and 10 GbE fiber-optic interfaces and hot-swappable power supplies.

The F600’s multiple port options start with eight standard 1 GbE copper ports with the option of four additional 1 GbE copper ports, four additional 1 GbE fiber ports or two additional 10 GbE fiber ports, with firewall throughput of up to 5.7 Gbps, VPN throughput of up to 1.6 Gbps and IPS throughput of up to 2.6 Gbps. The new line supports up to 400,000 simultaneous sessions and up to 35,000 new sessions per second.

The company said the new line is well suited for internal LAN segmentation to provide access to internal resources including applications, print servers and databases while making optimal use of available bandwidth. The F600 line uses rule-based traffic intelligence for WAN optimization, WAN compression and link management.

Last month Barracuda added the capability to assign URL filter policies directly in the firewall rule set to all of its F100 firewalls and up. URL filtering can be done without the mandatory redirection of traffic to a HTTP proxy. It also released a new line of firewalls aimed at small business.

Sepaton Debuts VirtuoSO

Sepaton has released VirtuoSO, a new NAS-based data protection platform for data centers based on a new architecture. VirtuoSO uses OptiScale, an extensible scale-out architecture optimized for large sequential I/O workloads and helping enterprises manage data growth.

VirtuoSO includes Sepaton’s Intelligent Data Mover software for replication, source dedupe, data migration, and data tiering. Hybrid deduplication uses inline and post-processing modes, depending on data type and change rate, to maximize data reduction and performance, the company said, although there is an option to bypass deduplication for data types such as encrypted or compressed data.

[The increasing amount and diversity of data is putting pressure on data backup. Read David Hill's analysis of how VirtuoSO aims to address the problem in "Sepaton Launches VirtuoSO for Data Protection."]

The company said VirtuoSO is capable of performance scales from 7.9 TB/hour on a single node to up to 31.6 TB/hour with four nodes and up to 126.4 TB/hour with 16 nodes, while capacity can scale from 36 TB to 3.3 PB and up to 16 PB in a single system.

According to a recent report by IDC, “use of disk in the data protection process has accelerated in recent years because it relieves many of the backup bottlenecks associated with using traditional storage methodologies -- such as tape.” The research firm said customers are turning to general-purpose disk or purpose-built backup appliances coupled with data protection software rather than making further investments in physical tape infrastructure.

Fusion-io Updates ioControl

Fusion-io added new software to its ioControl hybrid storage array, which targets small and midsize businesses. The company also introduced the ioControl Server Performance Extension (SPX), which improves server flash performance with intelligent server caching.

The ioControl 3.0 array includes the company’s ioMemory flash, and allows small businesses to add flash memory acceleration to their infrastructure. It differentiates between active data and data stored previously that has since changed in snapshots, replication, and clones to maximize system efficiency. Active data remains on flash while redundant copies are automatically migrated to disk.

Other updates to ioControl include priority-driven caching to the Dynamic Data Placement feature, which adjusts how quickly application data moves from disk into flash memory based on business conditions, as well as a new policy-based user interface that allows administrators to manage the system based on business policies.

Fusion ioControl SPX, meanwhile, uses server caching to improve storage performance for data-intensive application clusters such as VMware and Microsoft SQL Server. It performs writes on shared Fusion ioMemory flash in ioControl, while read workloads are moved from ioControl to ioMemory flash in the server to complete application requests as rapidly as possible. In VMware environments, Fusion ioControl SPX can speed up application performance by minimizing latency delays, the company said.

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